Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Shelley's Kitchen, 1140 Burton St SW, Wyoming ~ 4/10/18

We were looking for breakfast and bandied about the usual suspects: Real Food, Westsider, Peppermill, but we've been to all of them numerous times. Then we found Shelley's Kitchen. It's not new but it was new to us. The building is also not new and somewhat non-descript and a little seedy but there were people in it and we decided to check it out.
And it is as cute as can be. It's tiny, with booths for four on the ends and booths for two the long way along with the counter.
There is one restroom, for one, quaintly called the Necessary Room. It also is small.
We were promptly offered menus and we placed our beverage order. Our server returned in two minutes to take our order but we hadn't even looked at the menus yet. We mentioned we needed a few more minutes. That was fine but then she never returned. Fifteen minutes later we caught the eye of the cook with whom she was chatting and wrapping silverware. He told her to look behind her where we were both trying to get her attention. So there was one snafu but everything else went fine.

The oatmeal sounded good (brown sugar and raisins) on the the daily special page but our server suggested the baked oatmeal instead and offered to bring out a taste. How nice was that!
And it was delicious with raisins, apples, and cinnamon. Sold.
Our toast substitutions were English muffins and we split a side of bacon.
Our other dish was a Western Omelette, and it was so greasy and yes, delicious; the omelette and English muffin were both dripping. This just solidified the whole 'greasy spoon' nomenclature :-).
From a newspaper article on the wall, it looks like this place opened in 2001 and the neighborhood is obviously supporting it. The very large menu includes some Mexican dishes and lunch/dinner items. This is a breakfast-lunch place (due to their hours) but you could grab an early dinner here as well. We laughed at the senior menu (sorry, one pancake?).
Your bill has to be brought up to the counter and you do not know the amount until it gets rung up (ours was $23 something).
So there you have it. An altogether satisfying experience at Shelley's Kitchen and we would definitely return to try some of their lunch/dinner items. If you enjoy an old-school diner experience, this is your place. 

Monday, April 2, 2018

El Globo Restaurant, 2019 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids ~ 3/21/18

We discovered a Mexican restaurant we had never been to so today we ventured in. It wasn't clear if it was just counter service because there were a lot of people clustered in the back by the counter. But we took a seat to find out. Soon enough a friendly server brought us our menus along with a small serving of tortilla chips, salsa, and two sauces, one slightly hot and the other a delicious mysterious avocado concoction.
Wednesdays are $1 Taco days, yup $1, so it was busy. Most people came in for take-out but there were a few other booths occupied. Unfortunately, one other couple sat behind me and every time he leaned back, our shared booth wall pushed me a couple of inches forward.

The restaurant is long and fairly good-sized with booths along one wall and tables filling up the rest of the space. The decor is simple and the walls are covered with large paper posters. It's all tasteful.
Being Taco Day, it's what we had to go with: steak, pork, and tongue.
And Gorditas being a favorite, we had to try one of those, here along with a chicken taco.
We added sauce to all of them, the chicken was slightly dry without it (and the sauces were great), but the ample cilantro, fresh tortillas, and all of the other ingredients made up a fantastic lunch. And don't mind an occasional typo. It won't take away from your enjoyment of the food.
Our bill had to be paid back at the counter where everyone was picking up their take-out orders. There is also a back entrance which opens onto a city parking lot which we used. Parking is limited on Division at this location so just park behind the building. Service was great with a very friendly and informative server, and the place is clean, including restrooms.
Depending on when you come, especially on a Wednesday, you may have a wait. But if speed is what you want, you can always head to Taco Bell. If you want delicious tacos, this place will be worth your while.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Butcher's Union, 438 Bridge St NW ~ 5/18/17

It's been open less than a year and we first visited back in February. We liked it even then. Just don't try to enter through the middle door.
This is the old Monte's Lounge reborn into a very cool restaurant. The dining room and bar run front to back, side by side, and have an old speakeasy feel to them. (The owners, who owned Monte's, also own O'Toole's, now with outside seating, and have sold Rockwell/Republic on Division.)
A portion of the ceiling in the back was cut out to create a courtyard and we were happy to see it coming last February,
but we were happier to be sitting in it today, and charming it is.
There were 11 tables for 4 out there and it is much nicer than sitting at the few tables outside on Bridge Street with the cars driving by.

The menu changes with the seasons and we saw some items we remembered from last time but others were new. Here's a quick run-down from our February visit: Caribbean Spiced Meat Pies, Smoked Pastrami, and a BBELT (bacon, bacon pate, egg, lettuce, & tomato). All were superb, especially the Meat Pies, and our service.
Fast forward to today, and we started with the Mild Mannered Meatballs served over Polenta. We couldn't get enough, especially of the Polenta. The meatballs were nicely seasoned and not overly salted.
Next up was the Summer Strawberry Romaine Salad with Chicken, sprinkled with quinoa and covered with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette. All in all, a wonderful and fresh combination.
This is a meat and whiskey place and while we held back on the whiskey this time, we didn't on the meat. Here are the Double Cheeseburger and the Smokehouse Barbeque Pork sandwiches.
The burger was not ordered to taste (not asked, not requested) and came medium well but was still juicy with tons of flavor. The apple barbeque sauce and cole slaw made the pork sandwich a delicious mess but the side of snap peas was a mistake as they were not chewable. When they get older, they get more fibrous so that was unfortunate.

Just in case you were wondering, here is your whiskey list, from back in February. That list remains for another night.
Your tab comes with a postcard, which is cute but I'm not sure how many postcards are still used these days.
The dining room doors open to the street, which we love. You're almost outside.
This is a great atmosphere with excellent food and service, and blue skies smiling.
Butcher's Union Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fusion Dish, 400 E Division St NE, Rockford ~ 5/12/17

This is not the easiest place to find or it may just be the fault of failing GPS. Either way, the restaurant is located in a strip mall just off Wolverine Blvd (M-44) and the signage is small.
We finally honed in on the location and were happy we persisted.
We thought it might be counter service when we first entered but there was a server working the small room. There were four tables for 2-4 along each side wall and a table for 8 filling the center of the room. A 7-page menu greeted us, with the last page containing the lunch specials. There were two pages of appetizers/soups, one with dinner selections, one with noodle selections, one for fusion cuisine, and one listing beverages with a brief kid's menu.
They have an interesting way of updating their menu :-)
As is our way, we had to start with hot and sour soup. It came in an interesting bowl and was more than adequate but lacked the requisite tang that makes the hot and sour soup from Wei Wei Palace & Beijing Kitchen the best you will find in Grand Rapids.
The dumplings (Gyoza, Hong Kong pork dumplings) were typical, not extraordinary, but nothing to complain about.
The lettuce wraps, however, were extraordinary. Very flavorful and we could easily have consumed two orders.
Our first main dish was Thai Sweet Chili with Pork, spice level 6 (1-10). Fresh and spicy!
Next was Thai Fried Noodles, spice level 4, and this photo says it all. It was delectable.
Last up was Peanut Noodle. The 'crazy good peanut sauce' ended up being sweeter than expected due to the coconut milk (not listed in the ingredients) but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Finding the restroom is quite an adventure. Walk down the hall, follow the homemade signs, and end up in their kitchen, in the one male/female restroom in the place. It was an interesting journey.
There might be an issue with some of their electrical work. This was found on both sides of the restaurant. But maybe that's totally kosher.
The place does a big to-go business and has been here for several years, according to our server. Decor is mostly tasteful, the food and service are good, and the atmosphere/set-up is a little strange. But the large menu has plenty to choose from so it's worth a trip, if you can find it.
 Fusion Dish Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato